The American Hospital Association is putting on a new face-a flashier logo that's been a year in the works.
In addition to new lettering, the logo includes the phrase "Advancing Health in America."
The reason behind the slogan: "We want to . . . say something about what we're for and what we believe," says Richard Wade, the AHA's senior vice president for communications.
Wade says the logo has nothing to do with the AHA's recently increased attention on hospital quality issues (Feb. 7, p. 6).
"This was done a year ago," he says of the design.
Going topless. Three "Penthouse Pets" did what they do best last week at a cancer benefit in Manhattan. The women, Leslie Glass, Gina La Marca and Amy Lynn, bared their breasts in the fight to cure breast cancer.
The event raised money for the Kathy Keeton Foundation, a charity created in 1997 by the late wife of Penthouse magazine founder and publisher Bob Guccione. Keeton died of breast cancer in 1997.
Organizers wouldn't disclose how much money they raised, but they did say more than 400 people attended the event. At $75 a ticket, that's a tidy sum of more than $30,000.
Penthouse spokeswoman Jackie Markham says this event could be the first of many such fund-raisers around the country.
The event was somewhat personal for one of the Pets, who is fighting her own battle with cancer. Glass, 36, who was runner-up for Penthouse Pet of the Year in 1994, was diagnosed with liver cancer two years ago.
Eviction notice. An Iowa hospital has gone to court to evict a 49-year-old woman who overstayed her date of discharge by 10 months.
Sharon Hinders, who is paralyzed and requires skilled- nursing care, was living in a nursing home when she contracted an infection last March. She was admitted to 201-bed Allen Memorial Hospital, Waterloo, where she was treated and given a clean bill of health. According to court papers, when it was time for Hinders to leave, no nursing home in the state would take her because she wouldn't release her medical records, reportedly fearing their misuse.
In the meantime, Hinders has racked up $30,000 in hospital bills for her stay at Allen Memorial. At deadline, Hinders had not complied with an order from a Black Hawk County, Iowa, judge to file a voluntary plan for relocation. Consequently, the hospital was pursuing involuntary guardianship. Hinders could not be reached for comment.
Positively alive. Looking for the secret to a long life? Try a positive attitude.
A new study by the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., shows that optimists, on average, live longer than pessimists.
The Mayo research is based on psychological questionnaires answered by patients and more than 800 residents of Olmsted County, Minn., from 1962 to 1965. Follow-up studies show that regardless of a person's age or sex, those who were most pessimistic tended to die sooner than those who were most optimistic.
The study found that every 10-point increase on the pessimism scale resulted in a 19% spike in premature death.
Mayo Clinic Proceedings, a journal on Mayo research, published the findings earlier this month.
The study is further proof of the power of mind over matter.
"What is happening in the mind is strongly influencing the body, or the final outcome of the body, which is death," says Mayo psychiatrist Toshihiko Maruta, a study author.
And the winner is . . . Online bidding for everything from airplane tickets to supermodels' eggs is all the rage, so why not put patients on the auction block?
Medicine Online plans to do just that when it launches its "Bid for Surgery" site at the end of the month. The site,
online.com, will allow potential patients to post descriptions of their surgical needs. Surgeons will then bid to perform the surgery by listing their qualifications and experience and the estimated cost of the procedure. After reviewing the bids, the patients will choose the doctors they want to meet for face-to-face consultations.
"Bid for Surgery" is open only to patients seeking elective procedures such as face-lifts or corrective eye surgery. But who knows, "Bid for a Bypass" could be just down the road.
Media mogul. Don White, who deflected flak for seven years as spokesman for the American Association of Health Plans, has moved on.
White, 48, says he reached the pinnacle of media relations work as senior media relations manager at the AAHP. So he decided to change careers completely by taking a job this month as a stock and futures broker at Chesapeake Securities in Tysons Corner, Va. "It's something I've wanted to do for years," White says.
White insists his job defending the HMO industry during some of its toughest years was fun despite persistent misperceptions about managed care. He adds, with his usual hint of sarcasm: "We live in interesting times. I really believe we'll be able to tell our grandchildren, `I lived through that.' If they're interested in health policy, they'll be fascinated by it."
His replacement, Laura Diamond, was a media relations manager at the American Association of Retired Persons before joining the AAHP in May 1999.